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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

French development aid slowly increasing

France’s development spending increased in 2017, but after years of successive decline, that has only returned it to 2012 levels. EURACTIV.fr reports. Following years of decline in the budget for development aid, France increased it by 15% between 2016 and 2017, according to statistics published by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on 8 April. This increase in budget brought French aid up to 0.43% of gross national income (GNI), compared to 0.38% in 2016. UN 0.7% Target In 2017, as in previous years, only a few EU countries met the UN’s 0.7% target: Denmark, the UK, Luxembourg and Sweden, while Germany, which had met the target in 2016 slipped back under the threshold and spent only 0.66% of its GNI in 2017. “Although France is still far from its international commitment of 0.7%, it is back on the international scene in terms of development aid. This is all the more crucial as other donor countries are now reducing their commitments. France needs to keep up its efforts and set an example by ensuring that increases in aid go to the countries that need it most,” said Friederike Röder, Head of the French branch of the NGO ONE.The promise by President Emmanuel to reach a first step of 0.55% of GNI for development aid in 2022 also seems more achievable. “The one billion euro increase in French development aid is good news. But France should increase its efforts.